School farm visits support programme for farmers (England and Wales)
Are you new to or interested in starting school visits on your farm to help educate children about modern British farming? If so, we are excited to offer you the opportunity to take part in a new pilot project to support farmers in delivering high-quality, safe and memorable on-farm experiences to schoolchildren.
Working with LEAF Education, we plan to test a new support package designed to give farmers the tools, knowledge and confidence to deliver impactful school visits.
We want to help more schoolchildren and young people better understand and value where their food comes from through first-hand on-farm interactive experiences.
We will use the findings of the pilot, including your feedback, to inform our future education work and decide whether a wider rollout represents a good return on levy investment.
What to expect by taking part in the pilot
We are looking to recruit 20 farmers who are new to hosting school visits on their farms to be involved in the project.
If you take part, you will need to:
- Attend and complete a CEVAS (Countryside Educational Visits Accreditation Scheme) training course (see course dates)
- Following the training course, complete and submit a portfolio (estimated to take c.20 hours) for CEVAS accreditation by the end of March 2024
- Plan and deliver one school farm visit with support from a LEAF Education Specialist. Working on a consultancy basis, the LEAF Education Specialist will support you in finding a suitable school to visit your farm and help you to co-develop an educational day for them. The visit will likely be a class of approximately 30 young people for a half or full-day visit. In consultation, the appropriate age group would be chosen for the visit
- Plan and deliver a minimum of one additional school farm visit within three months of your first
- Attend a networking event with experienced CEVAS-accredited host farmers to share best practice and ideas for delivering engaging farm visits (optional)
- Get involved with case studies or relevant AHDB communications to promote the project to other levy payers and wider industry and/or share best practice for school visits
- Provide feedback on your participation in the pilot, e.g. what did you enjoy and value most, does the project represent value for levy, and are there any areas for improvement, etc
Your feedback will be collated with all those involved in the pilot – including farmers, teachers, and young people – to provide an overall evaluation report and inform the next steps.
Benefits for you
In return for your involvement, you will receive the following:
- Fully-funded CEVAS training and accreditation
- Fully-funded consultancy support from a LEAF Education Specialist to help you through all stages of your first farm visit
- Link to a local school, which might foster a long-lasting relationship
- Opportunity to input and steer future AHDB education work
- Access to a support network of new and existing host farmers
Schools can apply for a travel bursary to help cover the cost of the coach to your farm. Bursaries will be subject to conditions and managed by LEAF Education.
How to apply
Applications are now closed. Twenty levy-paying farmers will be taking part in the pilot.
Information collected as part of the pilot project, including the application process, is covered by a privacy notice. This notice describes how AHDB will use and take care of the personal information we collect on you.
- Be an AHDB levy payer in England or Wales
- Be a farmer, and your farm is your primary business enterprise
- Be new and/or have limited experience hosting school visits on your farm
- Be farm assured
- Not be CEVAS-accredited
- Comply with relevant health and safety and biosecurity requirements to ensure a safe experience for visitors to your farm. Please note requirements will be covered as part of the CEVAS course and may be sector and/or farm-specific, e.g. ensuring a safe and accessible route around your farm
- Have handwashing facilities in place before your first visit (e.g. an outdoor tap and liquid soap)
- Be able to offer access to at least one toilet during the visit (preferably two or more with a class of 30)
- Have a room/space that is dry and animal-free – suitable for a class to use for lunch and/or during very wet weather, e.g. grain store, lambing barn, old dairy parlour, etc
- Have or commit to having suitable insurance that covers the public/school groups visiting your farm
- Complete all elements of the project. This includes completing a CEVAS training course and working towards accreditation, delivering your first farm visit with support from an education specialist, and undertaking a minimum of one additional school farm visit
- Be available to attend the CEVAS training course starting in mid-November 2023 (see course dates here)
- Have a long-term aim of delivering educational visits beyond the scope of this project
Farmers will be selected to take part in the project from across our four sectors: Beef & Lamb, Pork, Dairy and Cereals & Oilseeds.
Ideally, we will select five farmers from each sector, although this may alter depending on interest levels.
We will consider geographical location to allow us to run one face-to-face training course and an online version for comparison purposes.
Location will also be considered in the context of coverage by the LEAF Education team, as this will be important when delivering the consultancy element of the pilot.
Importantly, selection will be made based on farmers meeting the eligibility criteria and their written submission on why they wish to take part.
Additional clarification and information may be sought by AHDB to support the decision-making process.
CEVAS training course dates
The CEVAS training course will be held either:
- Face-to-face in Coleshill, Warwickshire: 2 x full-day sessions held on both 15 November 2023 (Day 1) and 22 November 2023 (Day 2)
- Online: 6 x 2-hour sessions starting weekly from 15 November 2023 held from 10:30am to 12:30pm
- Session 1: 15 November 2023
- Session 2: 22 November 2023
- Session 3: 29 November 2023
- Session 4: 6 December 2023
- Session 5: 13 December 2023
- Session 6: 20 December 2023
Please note: You must attend all sessions. The CEVAS course requires active participation, and sessions will not be recorded.
Reasonable travel expenses will be covered to attend the course in person.